I thought I had my holiday baking list narrowed down and finalized when I came upon these little lovelies. I made them that night and have made two more batches since:) These are wonderful dipped in your morning cup of mocha or as a treat with afternoon coffee. In my opinion, the perfect pairing for these is to have them with a cup of homemade cocoa (I should probably get to that recipe at some point).
I have to admit, I am not the biggest fan of peppermint. I can handle small doses, but you won't ever see me eating a plain candy cane. These cookies are just right for me. The flavor is subtle, but you know it is there. For the first batch, I tried drizzling these with white chocolate and dark chocolate. Oddly, the dark chocolate seemed to overpower the light peppermint flavor, but the white chocolate really enhanced it.
These are wonderful to give as gifts to family, friends, neighbors, teachers or anyone who likes crunchy, yummy treats. Even though I have already made three batches, I think I will change up the usual milk and cookies this year and leave the Jolly Ol' Man a tin of these with a cup of hot cocoa to go:)
Candy Cane Biscotti
makes about 30 biscotti
8 Tablespoons (4 ounces) unsalted butter at room temperature
1/2 cup granulated sugar
3 extra large eggs
2 1/2 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 teaspoon peppermint extract
2/3 cup finely crushed candy canes (about 8 standard size canes)
7 ounces white chocolate
2 teaspoons vegetable shortening
3 standard size candy canes crushed
Preheat the oven to 350º F. Line a large baking sheet (17-inch x 12-inch) with parchment paper. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt; set aside. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Scrape down the sides of the bowl again and add the vanilla and peppermint extract. Reduce the speed to low and add the flour; mix until flour is completely incorporated. Fold in the finely crushed candy canes.
Transfer the dough to a lightly floured work surface. Divide the dough in half. Roll each piece of dough into a 16-inch by 1 1/2-inch log. Place the logs on the prepared sheet pan about 4-inches apart. Place the baking sheet in the freezer for 10 minutes for the dough to chill (this is not necessary, but it does keep the dough from spreading too much). Bake for 25-30 minutes or until lightly golden and still slightly soft on the inside. Remove the pan from the oven and allow the logs to rest on the pan for 10-15 minutes. Reduce the oven temperature to 325º F.
Carefully transfer the logs to a cutting surface. Using a sharp or serrated knife, cut the logs into 3/4-inch wide slices on the diagonal. Return the slices cut side down to baking sheet. Bake for 20 minutes. Remove from the oven and cool completely on the baking sheets (Biscotti will still be barely soft in the center, but they will harden as they cool).
Over a double boiler or a microwave safe bowl, melt the white chocolate and shortening; stirring frequently to prevent burning. Drizzle the chocolate over the cooled biscotti and sprinkle with the crushed candy canes. Allow the chocolate to set completely before storing. Biscotti can be stored in an airtight container for up to one week. Enjoy!